Michelle Williams has won the Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Comedy or Musical for her role as Marilyn Monroe in "My Week With Marilyn," marking her first win and third nomination
The 31-year-old beat nominees Jodi Foster and Kate Winslet of "Carnage," Charlize Theron of "Young Adult" and Kristen Wiig of "Bridesmaids."
"I consider myself a mother first and an actress second and so the person I most want to thank is my daughter, my little girl," Williams said in her acceptance speech.
The actress, who wore an indigo and black Jason Wu gown and Fred Leighton satin headband with jeweled detail to the ceremony, has a daughter, Matilda, with late actor Heath Ledger. The two co-starred in the 2005 movie "Brokeback Mountain," which earned the actress her first Golden Globe and Oscar nominations.
"My Week with Marilyn" is based on the week that British writer Colin Clark worked as Monroe's assistant while she was filming "The Prince and the Showgirl" in the United Kingdom in the summer of 1956. British actor Eddie Redmayne plays Clark, while Kenneth Branagh portrays Sir. Laurence Olivier. The movie also stars Emma Watson, who plays Hermione in the "Harry Potter" films.
"My Week With Marilyn" was nominated for two other Golden Globe Awards - Best Motion Picture - Comedy Or Musical and an individual acting nod for Branagh.
Williams rose to fame playing Jen on the teen drama series "Dawson's Creek." In 2010, she starred with Ryan Gosling in the R-rated "Blue Valentine," which also earned her Oscar and Golden Globe Award nominations.
Williams said she spent hours in front of a television watching films made by Monroe, Hollywood's most famous sex icon who died in 1962 at age 36, and worked to mimic her appearance and speech. The actress said in her Golden Globe acceptance speech that that for six months, while she was preparing to play Monroe, she had read bedtime stories to her daughter using the late actress' breathy voice.
"I padded myself some," Williams told OnTheRedCarpet.com. "I never really thought about how there are just some distances that I will never be able to cross. I can't restructure my face completely. I can't grow a few inches. I can't dictate with the weight I gain where it will land, so I have to accept that there are certain ways we are never going to meet and I have to satisfy myself with going after her essences."
"It was a lot of research," she added. "It was a lot of time spent in front of the television with a remote in my hand - watching, pausing, trying to replicate, rewinding, watching, pausing, trying to replicate."
Last year, Williams said in an interview with Hobo magazine that she often dreams about "quitting acting," adding: "Walking away and becoming a laundress or a sous chef or maybe writing other people's love letters for a living. Clearly, I don't like to be in charge. And thinking of quitting is just keeping going in disguise. When you have options, anything is bearable. It's when a situation is inescapable that it becomes hell."
Williams recently filmed the movie "Tar," which stars James Franco as author C.K. Williams, and the fantasy film "Oz: The Great and Powerful." The actress plays the witch Glinda, while James Franco plays the title role of the wizard. The movie also stars Mila Kunis and Rachel Weisz and is set for release on March 8, 2013.
Redmayne is known for his roles in the film "The Other Boleyn Girl" and the 2010 mini-series "The Pillars of the Earth." He can be seen next as Marius in the film adaptation of "Les Miserables," which also stars Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway.
Branagh is known for his roles in Shakespearean productions and also played Professor Gilderoy Lockhart in the 2002 film "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets." He currently stars in the UK series "Wallander."
Watson can be seen next in the film "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" with "Vampire Diaries" actress Nina Dobrev, Paul Rudd and Kate Walsh.